North American trucking and logistics firm Vitran reported a net loss of $2.4 million on revenue of $139.6 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2009. In the comparable 2008 three-month period, the company earned net income of $1.1 million on revenue of $177.5 million.
Lower fuel surcharges and the foreign exchange on Canadian operations accounted for approximately $22 million of the $37.9 million decline in revenue, the company said. The rest of the 21 percent drop in revenue was due to weak demand, especially in the less-than-truckload segment.
"The economic environment put enormous pressure on activity levels and margins in the first quarter of 2009 compared to 2008. Although Vitran posted a loss for the first quarter of 2009, it was a sequential quarterly improvement compared to the fourth quarter of 2008," said Vitran President and Chief Executive Officer Rick Gaetz.
Gaetz pointed to month-over-month improvements in the LTL and logistics businesses despite downward pressure in the retail economy.